Oklahoma City University cruised past Central Methodist (Mo.) 74-39 on Wednesday in NAIA Division I women's basketball tournament play at the Frankfort Convention Center.
Lauren Gober, a senior from Newcastle, Okla., propelled OCU with 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals. The second-ranked Stars (27-3) advanced to meet 18th-ranked Shawnee State (Ohio) at 9:45 a.m. CST Friday.
Gober surpassed 1,650 career points, bringing her total to 1,662. Katie Hall, a senior from Hazelton, Idaho, posted 15 points and four rebounds while shooting 7-for-9 from the field, and Desiree Jeffries, a senior from Oklahoma City, added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists for OCU.
The Stars made it past the first round of the NAIA Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. Defending national champion OCU has won six consecutive national-tournament games, winning three by 20 points or more.
"Great team effort," OCU coach Latricia Trammell said. "Our defense was spot on, and the effort of the team was amazing. We need that same intensity and focus going into Friday's game."
Central Methodist (25-8) hit only 3 of 22 first-half shots for 13.6 percent shooting from the field. Central Methodist finished shooting 24.5 percent (12-for-49 shooting). The Lady Eagles committed 28 turnovers as the Stars pocketed 14 steals led by Clara Russell's three. OCU outscored Central Methodist 26-8 in points off turnovers.
OCU opened up leads of 16-2 and 24-4 early. Towanda Sutton scored Central Methodist's first points of the game 3:44 into the contest.
Kayla MacKenzie put the Stars ahead 24-4 on a pair of free throws with 9:03 left in the first half. To that point, Central Methodist rang up eight turnovers and hit 2 out of 12 shots from the floor.
Hall's bucket built OCU's lead up to its largest of the day – 73-33 with 1:14 remaining in the game.